4 Common Electrical Hazards to Avoid
With electricity everywhere; in our homes, cars, workplaces, etc. and our heightened reliance on electricity, it is valuable to learn and remember the importance of electrical safety. Electrical hazards can cause shocks, electrocutions, fires, and other serious injuries. Although electricity can be extremely hazardous, these dangers can be easily avoided and prevented by being aware of potentially dangerous electrical situations.
Here are 3 common electrical hazards to be aware of in order to prevent dangerous situations:
- Damaged extension cords/ cords
If an extension cord has damaged insulation, melted cording or bare copper showing through, it is not safe to use! Please don’t try to repair these damaged cords with electrical tape either, it is still unsafe. If the bare wires get wet or come into contact with another bare metal, it will create a shock and if you’re on the receiving end of the that shock it can be extremely dangerous and cause serious injury. These damaged electrical cords and extension cords should be thrown out or checked by a licensed electrician to ensure your safety.
Extension cords can also be dangerous if they are used for a long period of time. These cords are meant for temporary use and are supposed to be unplugged and put away when not in use. Extension cords are also prone to overheating which can easily result in a house fire. For electrical safety, it is better to install a new outlet if you need one closer to a certain space in your home rather than stringing together extension cords.
- Children and pets
Since electrical outlets are generally placed near the floor, this makes them dangerous for children and pets who are at eye level with them. To keep children and pets safe around these electrical outlets, plug in covers are a great start. These will help prevent kids from putting their fingers or anything else in these outlets. To keep pets safe, you should be aware of any loose cords plugged into outlets since pets can chew on them creating a dangerous electrical situation and damaging your cords. You can tape down any loose cords to help prevent pets from chewing on them.
While many people know that water and electricity don’t mix, people still make this mistake. Hazardous water and electrical situations include electrical appliances such as radios, hairdryers, hair straighteners etc. being used in a bathroom or kitchen near water and wet floors wherever electricity is used. Reaching for your blow dryer right after the shower while your hands are still wet? Not a good idea.
This is also very important to remember while outdoors. Water from a pool and even rain can cause electrical dangers and injuries. When using electronics outdoors make sure to keep them away from the pool, unplug them when they’re not in use, have weatherproof outlet covers, and keep an eye on the weather – if it is about to rain make sure to unplug all outdoor electronics. Remember to make sure your hands and feet are dry before you grab any electronics!
- Outdated wiring
In older homes, the standard household power was around 60 amps. In today’s world, with all the electronics we use on a daily basis, this has increased in newer homes to up to 200 amps. This amount of power is enough to run all of your household electrical needs – air conditioners, dishwashers, computers, TVs, and any other electronics you use in your home.
If you have an older home equipped with fewer amps and outdated wiring, this is an electrical hazard. If you plug in more than 60 amps worth of electronics and appliances in your home, you can easily overload the breaker causing an electrical hazard. Sparking outlets and dimming lights are signs of outdated and unsafe wiring. If you have an older home, you should call a licensed electrician for an inspection and consider upgrading the wiring in your home.